Just so you know, grizzly bears charge park rangers, too.
Last week, a Yellowstone National Park ranger arrived at a bear jam between Norris Junction and Swan Lake Flat where people were behaving poorly, leaving their vehicles and crowding “dangerously close within 20 yards of a breeding pair of grizzly bears,” the park said in a statement.
The bears were interested in crossing the road but were blocked by people trying to take photos and not complying with the ranger’s instructions.
“The adult male grizzly became agitated,” the park said. “The male grizzly bluff charged the ranger, who fled behind his truck and hazed the bear into the forest with bean bag rounds, rubber bullets, and cracker shells.”
A video of the encounter has been posted online of the short episode.
The park said rangers will haze bears away from developed areas and roads to protect visitors or the bear and to reduce traffic congestion.
“The resource management bear technician in the video did an excellent job of hazing the aggressive bear away from visitors who obviously had no clue what kind of danger they were in,” said Yellowstone Superintendent Cam Sholly. “His actions likely saved lives. Non-lethal bean bags and rubber bullets were used in this situation and are some of the tools we use to haze wildlife away from visitors.”
The bear jam incident occurred on the same day a 39-year-old man was injured by a grizzly bear while hiking alone near Mammoth Hot Springs.
“We’ve already seen numerous close calls with bears this year and had one visitor seriously injured last week,” Sholly said. “Visitors need to maintain appropriate distances to wildlife and understand these animals are wild and can kill or injure humans very easily if threatened.”
Earlier last month another video surfaced of a grizzly with two cubs bluff charging a woman taking photos at close range. The park said it was investigating the incident and hoping to identify the woman making a quick exit from the scene.
“Always stay 100 yards away from bears,” the park reminded in its recent statement. “If you stop to watch a roadside bear in Yellowstone, you have a responsibility to behave in a way that doesn’t put people, or the bear, at risk. If a park ranger is present, do as they say.”
The park did not say if the ranger was tempted to use bean bags or rubber bullets to haze away the poorly behaving visitors at the bear jam.